Lamentations on the Lost Art of Kissing.  By Elisabeth C. Lamotte

Lamentations on the Lost Art of Kissing. By Elisabeth C. Lamotte

. 3 min read

One writer contemplates the potential for the perfect kiss, recalling her past and contemplating the future.

“I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.” Crash Davis, Bull Durham

A Catholic child of the suburbs, I was a virgin until my mid-twenties when I encountered a Manhattan born and bred man educated by Catholic Jesuits, but with plenty of life experience on the city streets. Appearing suddenly before me at a party, I was intrigued by the look in his dark eyes, his dark, curly hair, five o’clock shadow and slow smile. During our first epic night together, we were kissing when he softly smiled and chuckled. “You know, Honey, you’re not drilling for oil”, was his gentle comment. I returned his smile, understanding how to correct the problem and immediately did so. While other issues muddied the waters, our kisses could definitely last three days.

The other finest kisser I have ever enjoyed was yet again, NYC born and bred. Our beginning was a similar scenario; a totally unexpected meeting at a party. Hazel eyes instead of brown, but another head of dark curly hair with a five o’clock shadow and a smile I wanted to see again. When we said goodbye at the party that night and he leaned down for a soft, close-mouthed kiss on the lips, I knew it would not be our last.  Our first French kiss was preceded by him gradually finding my hand across the restaurant table and slowly stroking my pinky finger with his. After softly caressing all the fingers of my right hand, his mouth found mine. Suddenly, he was standing beside my chair and I rose to embrace him while we kissed in the middle of the restaurant. I could have cared less who was watching because his kisses made everyone and everything else disappear.

Each of these relationships ended badly but somehow wound up with a reprise several years later. While each second go-round was also a failure, the kisses and caresses remained exquisitely memorable. That part we always got right.

But, today is a different story. Lately everyone I’ve kissed seems to think it is titillating to swallow a woman’s mouth in a gaping, too-wet hole. A French phrase comes to mind; “Ce n’est pas la mer a boire” - “It’s not as if you have to drink the sea”. But then, some kisses are as dry as the Sahara and, fortunately under those circumstances, brief in duration. Then, there is the propeller tongue, whipping around the inside of my mouth in a circle until I am almost dizzy, and not dizzy in a good way. Yes, there are some who use my virgin technique of “drilling for oil” and some do not take polite requests for correction gracefully.

Several years ago, I started to date a man from Spain who had a terrific apartment on Central Park West just north of Lincoln Center. After coming back to his apartment, we started to kiss on the sofa when I suddenly felt as though a corkscrew was making its way down my throat. As I stopped to gently suggest that he was not “drilling for oil”, the Spaniard became enraged and threw me out of the apartment. You’d think I had insulted the honor of his entire family tree…

But, not all are as easily offended. A genial young physician I recently met kissed with a mouth too wide and a tongue too fast. As he was still a bit raw from the ending of his last relationship, I wanted to tread carefully. Fortunately, he took my gentle requests gracefully. Smiling at me, he nodded and our evening suddenly improved. So, perhaps there is hope.

And, perhaps, I should date more medical doctors. Or, try again with NYC natives?

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